MOUZON, Henry (1741-1807). An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with Their Indian Frontiers. Paris: George Louis le Rouge,1777

$ 35,000.00

4 sheets joined to make 2 maps, each float-mounted and framed separately (each map size: 21 4/8 x 57 inches, full margins showing the plate-marks). Together an exceptionally fine engraved map of North and South Carolina, the English title within an elegant asymmetrical rococo cartouche upper left, the French title lower right, with insets of Charlestown, Port Royal and of the English attack on Fort Sullivan on the 28th of June 1776, all with fine hand-colour in outline.

From Le Rouge's "Atlas Ameriquain Septentrional", 1777, first published in Sayer and Bennett's "The American Atlas: Or, A Geographical Description Of The Whole Continent Of America" in 1776.

When charting the history of map-making, one discovers that each century saw the emergence of a new nation as the dominant force in the field. In the fifteenth-century, the Italians were at the forefront, gaining new information from explorers and navigators who sailed to the New World. The Dutch took over in the sixteenth-century, with innovative cartographers such as Gerard Mercator, who established the Mercator Projection still in use today, and Abraham Ortelius, creator of the first atlas in the modern sense of the word.

Following the long period of Dutch dominance, France, England and Germany became the center of the world map-making industry. Within France, one of the most important cartographers was George Louis le Rouge. Trained as a military engineer, Le Rouge took up cartography around the year 1740.  During the next forty years, he was responsible, both on his own and as Ingenieur Geographe du Roi, for a number of attractive and valuable works covering a wide range of subjects. While his specialty was plans of cities and fortifications, he also produced atlases and single maps of European countries, Africa, Australia and North America.

When the Revolutionary War in America began, there was an immediate need for both land maps of the colonies and sea charts of the coastal areas and river systems. English and French cartographers responded to this need with an outpouring of detailed and accurate maps. Le Rouge's Atlas Ameriquain Septentrional (1778) was the most important publication of its kind in France. It consisted of French versions of twenty-five maps by the English cartographers William Faden and Thomas Jeffreys. Le Rouge's Neptune Americo-Septentrional of the same year was the French navy's official reference for mayor American and Canadian harbors.

Le Rouge's work on the whole combines the best qualities of detail and precision - a result of his thorough training as a military draughtsman - with the elegance of eighteenth-century decoration.

This map of North and South Carolina is after Henry Mouzon’s 1775 map of the area. Mouzon based his map on years of personal surveying experience, as well as over a decade spent critically assessing and incorporating previous information.  For North Carolina, Mouzon inserted for the first time Tryon County, Pelham County (later called Sampson), and the topography west of the Catawba River is more detailed and accurate than on any previous map.  Mouzon also advanced beyond earlier maps in his inclusion of rivers, streams, roads, and physical features like "White Oak or Tryon Mountains" and "Kings Mountain."  For South Carolina, Mouzon added rivers and Indian settlements west of the Cherokee Indian boundary lines, and his depiction of the eastern precincts was more sophisticated than anything that had come before.  Besides details of natural features, Mouzon's map depicts forts, parishes, bridges, roads, Indian paths, and boundaries, and includes insets of Charleston and Port Royal harbors.